Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Instruction & Curriculum Leadership

Committee Chair

Chrisann Schiro-Geist

Committee Member

Kay Reeves

Committee Member

Eli Jones

Committee Member

Laura Casey

Committee Member

Patrick Murphy

Committee Member

Carolyn Graff


People with disabilities have been identified as representing the largest marginalized group worldwide. A negative attitude towards people with disabilities has been an extended paradigm in American society. Improving the treatment of people with disabilities has led to national policy and legislation changes. However, health inequities continue to be a significant issue faced by people with disabilities. Bourdieu's Theory of Practice provided the theoretical basis for this research. Using the Scale of Attitudes Toward Disabled Persons survey, this quantitative descriptive research aimed to examine factors that may impact attitudinal barriers among three groups, graduate nursing students, current practicing nurses, and retired nurses, when diagnosing physical symptoms of patients with disabilities. The survey results were analyzed by performing statistical tests to determine whether significant differences existed in the attitudes toward persons with disabilities for the groups. The quantitative results have indicated statistically significant differences in the participants’ attitudes. The results of this study may foster positive attitudes among nursing professionals and other healthcare workers and potentially improve medical services for individuals with disabilities. Keywords: Americans with Disabilities Act, attitudes, disability bias, diagnostic overshadowing, misdiagnosis, nursing education


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.


Open Access